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Israel 21, Us 21, Washington 17, New York 15, Gibson 13, Brad Schneider 12, U.s. 11, Dold 11, Schneider 7, Mr. Schriebman 6, Kingman 5, United States 4, Scott Shane 4, Pentagon 4, Karen 4, Mr. Gibson 4, Cia 4, Upstate New York 4, Libya 4, New York City 3,
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  CSPAN    Tonight From Washington    News/Business. News.  

    October 29, 2012
    8:30 - 10:59pm EDT  

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a dutch woman who was taken cap captive. realized that she could get a bounty for indian scalps, went back and made her way to boston. they actually erected a statue to her, the first permanent statue showed her with a hatchet in one hand and scalps in the other. >> host: sunday taking your calls, e-mails and tweets on "in depth." he's the best-selling author of the don't know much series. watch live at noon eastern on booktv on c-span2. >> now, the illinois 10th district debate between representative robert dold and his democratic challenger, brad schneider. this debate courtesy of wttw-tv is 30 minutes.
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>> illinois' 10th congressional district has one of the most expensive races in the country as democrats try to take control of the seat for the first time in more than 30 years. they're aided by the recent remap of the district which makes it the most democratic congressional district in the country that is held by a republican. the newly-drawn 10th congressional district runs along lake michigan and up to the illinois/wisconsin border and includes northern sub you ares such as buffalo grove, lake forest and glen cove. a couple of quick notes. this forum is being streamed live on our web site, wttw.com/chicago tonight, and you can join a live chat. if you have a question for the candidates, you can ask it there, and we may use it on the air. also a note about our format tonight. this is not a formal debate. the candidates will not give opening or closing statements, their answers will not be timed, and they will not necessarily be asked the same questions. i will use fairness as my guide to move the discussion along.
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and we asked the candidates to stay on topic and not give campaign speeches. now joining us, seated in the order they appear on the ballot are brad schneider from deerfield, he's a management consultant. and congressman robert dold, republican from kennelworth who was elected to the house of representatives in 2010. before that he was president of a pest control company in northfield and served as investigative counsel for the u.s. house oversight and government reform committee. gentlemen, welcome to chicago tonight. it's good to have you here. >> thank you. good to be here. >> moderator: you're both on record as saying you'd be open to raising revenue as part of a plan to balance the budget. congressman dold, your opponent says he'd support 70% in cuts versus 30% in new revenues. what percentage breakdown would you support? dold: i'm not so sure i have a percentage breakdown. i have worked with my colleagues on the other side of the aisle
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in the only bipartisan budget that's come to the floor in a generation and, frankly, we need to be talking about how we can get folks together, republicans and democrats alike. running an organization, i certainly know that the only successful organizations are those that come together and actually solve problems and have some sort of compromise. >> moderator: but in terms of a compass point, you were asked recently would you accept the $1 tax increase for $10 in cuts, and you said yes. dold: sure. >> moderator: somewhere between that and 70/30, i mean, just as a general proposition? dold: well, certainly what i took as a framework in what we did, we laid out a broad framework that was talking about a bipartisan budget that would put revenues on the table and also spending cuts. i don't want to say we'd say it's got to be this or that simply because we don't know what the proposals are going to be. we do face a fiscal cliff, and the only way i think we're going to resolve this problem is by coming together and working
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together as i've done in this last 22 months. >> moderator: brad schneider, how did you come up with the split? schneider: if you look at what we've had in this past congress, a congress that has done everything but address the challenges we face, you have a ryan plan that not once, but twice my opponent voted for that continues to give additional benefits and cuts to the most fortunate americans, additional subsidies to large oil companies and companies shipping jobs overseas. and to pay for that it is asking seniors to take medicare, the medicare guarantee and turn it into a voucher which will cost seniors $6400 a year more. taking students and asking them to pay more for loans, cutting pell grants. it's taking middle class families and increasing their taxes -- >> moderator: i'm hearing you say the general sense of fairness, this 70/30 that you've come up with. congressman, you signed a pledge for grover norquist's americans for tax reform to never raise
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taxes, but now you're saying you would consider deficit reduction solutions that would include increased revenue. why the change? dold: well, certainly if you're going to lower rates or raise rates in one area, you've got to lower them in another. and i don't believe that raising taxes is necessarily the answer -- >> moderator: but you're now open to increased revenue, and two years ago -- i'm asking why the change? dold: because when i got to washington, things were worse than even i anticipated. what i am looking to try to do is solve these big problems. so i've come forth with an idea and a plan. certainly, i want to focus on my main street jobs agenda as we look at more and more people that are out of work than we want to see. we've got 23 million americans out of work or unemployed, and yet my opponent has yet to come up with a plan. so what we do have is a plan to, in essence, just criticize me for coming --
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>> moderator: one of the subtexts of the question i was asking you, congressman, is it part of attacking the defender that is sort of reasonable in terms of representing a district like the 10th? dold: that's where i've been. every independent analysis has ranked me as one of the most independent, bipartisan members of the united states congress, and that's where i think we've had thoughtful, independent leadership in the 10th district for the last 30 some odd years. that's what i told the 10th district i would be, and that's exactly what i've done -- >> moderator: and, brad schneider, you've been on the show twice before, and you said you were, quote, progressive. lately you've been describing yourself as a moderate. what are you? schneider: i said a pragmatic proyes, sirrive on -- progressive. i'm 100% supportive of women's rights, the right of a woman to make her own choice.
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on rights of equality, i support marriage equality, i support the opportunity for everyone to be able to have security in their employment whether they're straight or gay or lesbian. i believe that we should have repealed don't ask, don't tell. and these are real differences between me and my opponent who is not 100% pro-choice, who has voted to, um, or wanted to delay the repeal of don't ask, don't tell. >> moderator: you've raised a series of important things. a real quick response from congressman dold. dold: first of all, i am pro-choice. so to say that i'm anything but that, i think, is disingenuous. schneider: he voted to defund planned parenthood, he voted for a bill that would have penalized small business that provided women health care -- >> moderator: okay, real quick, is that right? dold: actually, it's wrong. it's disingenuous to paint it
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that way. what i did do is to fund the government. if you remember earlier on in this term, we had to fund the government to keep the doors open, so i wanted to make sure seniors got their social security checks, to make sure men and women in uniform were able to feed their families, to make sure that the government was being run. but the bill that he's talking about i actually stood up on the house floor and was the only republican to speak out to say we need to make sure planned parenthood keeps its funding, but to suggest otherwise is to -- [inaudible conversations] if you take a look at the daily herald, they actually came out and said these attempts to blatantly misrepresent my record are troubling -- schneider: or you've voted against the amendment, but the very next day you voted for the bill that would have defunded planned parenthood. it didn't become law, and the government didn't shut down. you didn't have to -- >> moderator: gentlemen, i guess let me jump ahead to a topic i was thinking of taking up later, but since it's on the
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table, congressman dold, your opponent says that on the 20 most important votes you did not break with your leaders even once, and that led the tea party to pull congress to the fringe. what is your response? dold: that was, actually, 24 votes. 20% of those votes pass with the the democratic majority. ten of those volts tenny hoyer voted for. not a single one talked about women's health care, the environment, not a single one was talking about transportation infrastructure, not a single one of those votes were dealing on education or a single one on gun control, all things that i think are important to the people of the 10th district and i think are critical votes -- [inaudible conversations] schneider. if we look at the record of this congress which is the most ineffective in our lifetimes, he voted twice with the ryan plan. he talks -- he voted with this congress over 200 times against our environment, over 28 times
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against obamacare. he's voted with them on issue after issue, on every core issue -- >> moderator: okay. you raised an important one. congressman dold, your votes on obamacare. you voted against it. why? dold: if we look at the affordable care act, i think we can agree there are some things -- >> moderator: by the way, you call it the affordable care act as opposed to obamacare. dold: i think we got 23 new taxes on this. the estimates in terms of the cost estimates on the new set of tenures doubled. >> it didn't double. dold: it did. now after two years it is doubling, and so i do think this is wildly troubling because small businesses are looking at how can i, in essence, pay the penalty and tell people they're on their own for health insurance? as one who has to deal with 100 employees, for me it's an extended family, to tell them that they're going to be on their own for health insurance,
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i can think of more things that would be more troubling or terrifying for them -- >> moderator: [inaudible] schnide or: every year when we met with the health insurance agent, they came in and told us we had a double-digit increase. we had to make a choice, my partner and i, do we put more burden on our employees or take more on ourself? the affordable care act is not perfect, but it takes us in a step in the right direction taking us from a system that currently was based on volume, emergency care and moves us to a system that is much better based on quality and outcomes. we're spending one-and-a-half times per capita on health care in this country, and we're not getting better outcomes. dold: but it doesn't address equality. >> moderator: quick response. dold: it doesn't address cost or quality. we can agree that we don't want to deny someone with a pre-existing condition access to insurance, but it didn't address
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medical malpractice reform, it doesn't allow individuals the same tax breaks as businesses. it doesn't involve consumer-driven care. schneider: it focuses on quality, it has an emphasis on preventive care, it's taking us in the right direction. i don't say it's perfect. we need to work -- [inaudible conversations] dold: it takes $716 billion out of medicare -- >> moderator: from our online chat, the question is last week the defense of marriage act was struck down by the courts. do you support this law, and do you believe that marriage is only between man and a woman? brad schneider? schneider: i believe two people -- life is hard. raising a family is hard, having a career is hard. having a partner to do that together, having someone to be standing by your side in tough times but also in good times. if two people want to commit for a lifetime, god bless them.
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>> i don't want to prevent two loving individuals from having a life together. one of the reasons why i supported, in essence, a piece of legislation that would allow domestic partners to have health benefits and be able to be on their partner's health benefits, and i've come forward to say i believe that civil unions should be acceptable. so we want to make sure that they have these rights, but i do believe marriage is between a man and a woman. >> i believe two people who want to make this commitment, it should be marriage. this is why the human rights campaign gave me their endorsement. >> moderator: congressman, do you think your sentiment is reflected in your district? dold: it is a moderate district, no doubt about it. it's more fiscally conservative and socially moderate. schneider: i know the majority of my district supports marriage equality, the majority of this country supports the employment nondiscrimination act. yet mr. dold opposes that. >> moderator: let's go to another question, the question is for mr. schneider.
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you have refused to ri lease your tax -- release your tax returns. why is that? to congressman dold, do you believe governor romney should release his returns? schneider: what i think people want to know are included -- >> moderator: doesn't show what you pay in taxes. dold: it does not. that's been reported as well. my wife has her own career. she is a professional. she has clients and competitors. she's not running for congress. i believe my wife has the right to a certain degree of privacy. everything voters want to know -- >> moderator: some would say that they're entitle today transparent is si from a candidate. schneider: i've released my returns. i believe the voters do have a right to transparency, and,
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frankly, the fact that we don't know what deduction cans were taken, we don't know if taxes were paid on domestic employees, we don't know any of those types of things and i think that, obviously, we know from past history these are some of the things that voters have wanted to know and have tripped up potential -- >> moderator: those are all legitimate or, arguably legitimate -- [inaudible] let me follow up with that question from sam. having said that, do you think mitt romney should release his tax records? dold: i do. schneider: we need to have a conversation focusing on jobs, focusing on getting our education systems back to leading the world, focusing on making sure we bring manufacturing, that our health care is addressed. [inaudible conversations] >> moderator: all right. let's open up that conversation with this question. and congressman dold, do you believe that the tax cuts for the wealthy stimulate the economy? dold: i believe keeping tax rates low are going to be helpful. president obama said in 2010
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said in a fragile economy, we should not be raising rates. that's when the economy was growing at 3.5%. the economy today is growing at 1 minute 5%. i asked my opponent how raising taxes was going to help more people get employed, how it was going to help these small businesses who are struggling to make ends meet. frankly, there was no response. >> moderator: do you believe tax cuts for the wealthy stimulate the economy? schneider: i stand with the president that we should keep tax rates for all earners under 250,000 where they are. but we have a fiscal imbalance. we need to address that. by raising the tax rates, going back to the tax rates of the 1990s where we had a growing economy, we were creating 23 million jobs. the congressional budget office looked at the plan to go back to 1990 rates on income over $250,000, they said it would reduce our net debt over ten years by almost a trillion dollars. that's a significant step in bringing balance back to our
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budget and fiscal policy. the reason standard & poor's brought, lowered our credit rating a year ago wasn't because our economy wasn't able to grow, it was because congress was unwilling to address the challenges we face. we can't continue to keep giving the most fortunate americans tax cuts and expect that we'll be able to address the challenges and pass our children the kind of future that our parents gave to us. >> moderator: congressman dold, what do you make of the observation that there's no connection between lower taxes for the wealthy and a vibrant, robust economy? dold: my opponent said he wants all the rates to rise, that he wants all of the tax cuts to go up -- >> moderator: you did say that earlier. since then -- schneider: i could have been more artful. i think we need to keep rates below -- at the current level -- >> moderator: so you misspoke
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when you said what you said before? schneider: i stand with the president. dold: on his web page it was changed. was it inartful or convenient? schneider: look in, bob, in 1999 we had a balanced budget, we had a projection to balance our debt. we had two bush tax cuts, two unfunded wars, an unfunded prescription drug benefit, and we had a fail your of oversight of -- failure of our oversight committee. >> moderator: congressman, i have more questions for you. dold: brad, you have no plan. i've laid out a clear vision for how we get people back to work. schneider: that's just not true. >> moderator: gentlemen, i have to interrupt, mr. schneider -- dold: you sound like a lot of investing means a lot of spending. >> moderator: gentlemen, speaking of tax policy, which of
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these deductions would you eliminate? congressman dold, mortgage interest? keep it or lose it? dold: i'd like to keep it. schneider: i would like to keep it but cap it on higher income on second houses, for example, but we need to continue to support our housing industry. >> moderator: how about capital gains? brad schneider? schneider: i would support taking it back to what it was in the 1990s under clinton. >> moderator: congressman? dold: we want to keep investing. having said that, when we talk about a grand scheme or something working across the aisle, that could be on the table. >> moderator: congressman, charitable deductions, should they stay or go? dold: it's one of the things that has to stay. schneider: one of the things that makes us stronger is the sense we have of taking care of our neighbors. i would keep it. gld brad schneider, one corporate tax loophole you would like to close? dold: i think we have to lower
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the rates to make ourselves more globally competitive. so comprehensive tax reform, certainly something i've supported and, actually, one of the things that i passed out of the house of representatives, my opponent talked about how this is the most unproductive congress, yet as a freshman i've passed six pieces of legislation, two signed into law by the president. i was able to pass with overwhelming bipartisan support the global investment and american jobs act trying to focus on getting more americans, more people in the 10th district back to work. something i'm very proud of. >> moderator: congressman, would you vote again to raise the debt ceiling? dold: i would. but i want to make sure we're talking about how we're making sure we're reining in the out of control spending so that we're not burdening my children, brad's and yours out in the viewing audience with a mountain of debt -- >> moderator: brad schneider, would you vote to raise the debt ceiling?
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schneider: yes. but i think we need to do it in a responsible way. and, again, the ryan plan that continues -- and you voted for it twice -- it continues to give the benefit to those who have the most and putting the burden on those who are struggling the most. to put increased burden on students, this doesn't address our challenges. dold: brad, that's ridiculous. >> moderator: congressman, what role should private insurance play in the reformation of medicare? dold: one of the things that i've supported in a bipartisan plan is the that idea that, first of all, medicare has to remain. so that option would be available. what i have supported is a premium support model, and again, i think this is important as we give seniors options and choice, and the private system can come in and offer plans that would be gatekeeperred by medicare. >> moderator: brad schneider, should the private sector have a role to play? >> schneider.
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no. this plan is unsustainable. aarp said it would hurt medicare. cbo said it would cost seniors $6400 more, and the reason is, is because it's indexed at a rate that is slower than the rate that health care inflation is projected to grow in the future. we can't simply take the costs of health care and transfer it to our seniors. we need to move from a system of volume to a system of quality. >> moderator: we have a question from our online chat from toby, and toby's question is: what aspects of social security would you change or fix given the quickly-depleting trust fund? congressman, you first. dold: let me say real quickly with regard to medicare, my o possibly has no plan. he's been running for 17 months and has no plan. medicare's going bankrupt, and i think we've got an obligation to strengthen the social safety net which is why i'm willing to work across the isle -- >> moderator: in all fairness to the congressman -- schneider:
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you voted against the plan twice. dold: i'm going to take a page right out of the daily herald which says you're trying to mislead the voters. [inaudible conversations] dold: my vision going forward is to make sure we strengthen these -- >> moderator: let's get to toby's question about social security. dold: again, a social safety net program that we have to make sure is secure, and it needs to be there for future generations. and i think that one of the things that, certainly, we have to do is work in this a bipartisan fashion. >> moderator: brad schneider, a quick response on social security. schneider: half the seniors were living beau the poverty line when it passed. we've brought that down to 10%. we need to make sure social security is there for our children and their children's generations. we need to make sure that social security provides that safety net so we continue to drive down the number of seniors who are in the poverty line, but we can't
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do it in a way that forces them to choose between rent and medicine, that forces them to choose between planning for a future and having to give up everything they've saved for their entire lives. >> moderator: gentlemen, let's talk about israel. both of you say you stand in firm solidarity with israel, but can you name something that israel has done that you think has not been helpful to peace in the middle east? congressman dold. dold: honestly, i can't right now think of something that they've done that i think has been detrimental. what i do know is that our one true ally in the state of israel, we need to make sure that we as a nation are standing shoulder to shoulder, there is no daylight between the united states and israel and that the world knows an attack on israel is an attack on the united states. >> moderator: is there nothing that comes to mind that israel has done that you think has been unhelpful? dold: certainly, if there's going to be something that's
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unhelpful, you have that behind closed doors. schneider: i've been advocating for a strong u.s./israel relationship going back to high school in the 1970s. i have watched as israel has sat at the negotiating table looking for a partner. i sat and watched in 2000 when prime minister ehud barak and president clinton tried to bring yasser arafat to a peace proposal that gave them virtually everything he wanted, and he walked away without making a single counteroffer -- >> moderator: you're saying israel -- schneider: i'm not saying israel's perfect, but to get to peace, the palestinians need to come to the table, we need to have negotiations. the united states has a role in providing a safe forum for israel and the palestinians to sit down and find that place where they can find common ground, but we need to have a two-state solution, we need to have a palestinian state living next to an israeli state. when they recognize it as a
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jewish state, then we'll have peace. >> moderator: let's talk about -- so many charges, some of them personal, but, brad schneider, for example, there have been charges that you've embellished your business resumé. what's your reaction? schneider: i am proud of my business record. most of my career's been working with small and medium-sized family businesses helping them develop strategic plans, bringing in the next generation, helping expand and grow their business for success for themselves and their employees. it is that experience that i think gives me the perspective. i understand why we have to simplify our tax code, what it's going to take for business owners to look to the future with confidence, invest in new products and innovation, hire new people and train them -- dold: and yet according to reports you now have a one-man consulting company, one's lists add having a value of less than $1,000. is that, is that, is that a substantive -- schneider: i've
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devoted 100% of my time to this race. i got in this race because of the experience i bring, the quarter century of background working with small businesses. the value you saw on that was the value i kept in the checking account to keep it open because all of my energies have gone into congress. it is that experience that will help me understand how we can help small businesses look to the future and grow. it is that experience that will help me evaluate policy in washington and see how it will impact small businesses. we can't continue to add complexity and make it more difficult for small businesses to compete. we need to give them a hand up, help them export if we're going to add manufacturing. small businesses are going to lead the way. >> moderator: all right. i'm going to have to stop you. congressman dold, your record is supporting reasonable gun laws. how about supporting a federal ban on assault weapons? do o ld: my opponent says he does not have a business record
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because he was running for congress. well, he didn't have any clients or revenue in 2010, and in 2010 i was running for congress against dan seals, so it's just disingenuous again. >> moderator: quickly, mr. schneider? schneider: in 2010 i was looking to buy a business. this is an example of you not understanding spend -- entrepreneurship. schneider: when you are looking for deals -- dold: but you started in 2008. schneider: and in 2010 i was looking for a company. i made an investment in a company. dold: you're a management cob sultan -- consultant. schneider: bob, what we should be focusing on is -- dold: it should be job jobs and the econ, and frankly, you're passing yourself off as a businessman, and you've done neither. schneider: i've run businesses. [inaudible conversations]
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>> moderator: gentlemen, you made your point. thank you. dold: we need to get our neighbors and friends back to work. >> moderator: jobs are a key issue, there are other issues that impact society. you say you support gun laws, how about aban on assault weapons? dold: i think it was not renewed because it wasn't working, and we've got to look at other ways to try to reduce gun violence. mayors against illegal guns. we look at the gun violence in new york city and what they've been able to do, it's certainly fantastic in terms of the results that are there, and i support trying to make sure we close the loopholes, making sure we're looking at background checks to make sure those happen more effectively and efficiently and also pleased to say that the illinois council on handgun violence is going to be giving me an award or in involve. schneider: i do believe we need to reinstate the violence ban. we are seeing too much violence
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in our communities. we need to reinstate the weapons ban that expired in 2004. we need to ban large scale magazines that allow someone to go into a theater and pull off 60 rounds in a minute. this makes our cities more dangerous. you talk about it, but you're not willing to put the action behind it, and this is what you've done in congress. when you vote for the ryan plan, when you vote against women's rights, when you vote against the environment -- ..
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will keep coming back to read other people in the party had the courage to stand up to the leadership and say this isn't good for middle class. it isn't good for medicare and students are voting against it. we have an online question from david. let's hear that question please. >> will the growing population support comprehensive immigration reform and the dream act, a driver's license for undocumented immigrants, a congressman, your reaction please. >> what i will say is you know our nation we generally try to judge someone on what they've done so what i've said is i do think that the dream act is a step in the right direction. we do need to provide students and young people that have no other country decides their own the opportunity to be able to serve our country and step up and then be able to go to school and be able to stay here we need to provide them that opportunity. i look a comprehensive immigration reform as something we have to do.
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i would break it up as opposed to the giant bell into smaller bills so it has a greater possibility of getting through and passing. >> moderator: reaction to that. >> we need comprehensive immigration reform and the republican party has blocked it over and over again. was president george bush that put forward a comprehensive immigration bill that the republican party would not even consider. we've 11, 12 million people living in the shadows in this country that are contributing to the community's working hard and we need to provide them a kafta citizenship without prejudice or putting on a disadvantaged people that voted in the line. we need to make sure voters are taking care and for young people we need to make sure that their dreams and aspirations have a realistic chance of being realized so they can come and contribute in their communities and -- >> moderator: we have one minute left and this isn't part of the format but just a recap you would like to leave the voters with and i will begin with congressman dold.
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dold: i've been ranked as one of the top ten in the united states and i am proud of that record and frankly, take a look at "the chicago tribune," the daily herald and their analysis on this. they've set look dold is the clear choice because frankly i am able to build the the could bridge the political gap and think for myself. i've done that for the last 22 months. being on the israel issue is a voice not just a vote and trying to be a fiscal conservative and social moderate my record stands up for that have been fighting for people on the tenth district and that is why will continue to do. >> moderator: we've but the conflict ahead of the collaboration of compromise. on the key vote mr. dold has over and over given just the voice of the vote. somebody that is when to vote for the people and put the middle class first. the sierra club and they both
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give me their endorsement. i got the endorsement of the human rights campaign and the job pac and they are pro-choice america and the firefighters. all of these groups. >> moderator: brad schneider. you can embrace the kind of approach congresswoman wilson has embraced and signed a pledge to support the cut cabin balance program that is a tea party approach to balancing the budget
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and it has no new revenues even for the wealthiest of americans and it's so draconian that would require deep cuts in social security and medicare over time or we can embrace a balanced approach. that's why i support. i think we can go back to the kind of tax rates we had under the clinton administration won the upper income earners were doing well in the entire economy was growing. we have to make some tough choices and a balanced approach is the only approach that i believe will get us there. >> you're rebuttal? >> it sounds amazing to me that you can stand here having voted for trillion dollar deficit for the last four years but largest fastest debt increase in america's history and say that we have to control spending. we've done nothing to control spending over the last four years and with respect to cut cabin balance is amazing to me also that the idea of cutting wasteful spending, capping the ability of congress to spend money we don't have, and
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balancing the budget is extreme i think it is to set priorities and stop funding things like solyndra and prioritize things like social security, medicare and education and that's why i support a balanced budget amendment to the constitution. wednesday from the british house of commons by minister's question time because of daylight savings time this week the prime minister's questions will air at 8 a.m. eastern and the state of its usual 8 a.m.. the 19th district debate between representative chris gibson and the challenger.
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the former democratic party chairman. this debate posted by what one wmha is about an hour. >> moderator: will come to a special edition of new york now. i am not ryan. tonight's debate is brought to you by w m 8t and the times union and we want to welcome viewers in the capitol region and hudson valley as well as those of you watching on wf cagey or pbs affiliate. without further ado is time to welcome our 19th district candidates congressman chris gibson and mr. schriebman. [applause] >> i will be your moderator this evening and i am joined by three of the best reporters in the business. starting off from the times union jimmy juan vielkind, karen
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dewitt, tce seiler for the times union. they will be taking questions at home. that's right we are allowing you to have a chance in tonight's debate if you want to ask the candidates something you can do so by long gone to your facebook account, just "like" us and ask away or on twitter it is one asknowpbs and pc will be taking hold e-mails attwell nynow@wmht.org prieta we will have those on the screen during the program. each candidate will be given two minutes for their opening statement. after that we will begin the formal questioning. each candidate will have 90 seconds to answer while the a fer other can offer a 452nd rebuttal. if the panel believes answer needs clarification from of the candidates they can ask a follow-up question to the individual and we will then have 40 seconds to clarify. we will alternate questions to each candidate after the
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moderator's initial. before the debate we flipped a coin to determine the order for our opening and closing statements. first of is mr. schriebman. good evening and your two minutes starts now. schriebman: matt, caring, casey come, gibson, thank you. thank you all of you and to the times union for sponsoring. i am running for congress to be a voice for our middle class families. i grew up here in the hudson valley. my dad was a world war ii veteran who didn't even finish high school. my mom's small business support our family growing up, and the fact is we struggled. we struggled from month to month and year to year. like so many families in upstate new york continue to struggle. congressman gibson was this to be a voice for us but he hasn't been. instead, his priorities have been voting to end the guarantee of medicare to defund planned parenthood and restricting woman's right to choose and to
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cut off educational opportunity like pell grants and head start. i know how important as opportunities are. i was the first and my family to go to college and i couldn't have gone without a pell grant or without student loans. but because of receiving that opportunity, i've been able to spend most of my career in a nonpartisan public service. at the cia i was able to look on a case called the united states versus osama bin laden. the prosecution of the members of al qaeda for bombing the embassies in east africa. i became a prosecutor myself talking to make our communities safer in putting him in the hudson valley from violent crime, drug dealing, domestic violence. now i am blessed to be raising three little boys of my wife just a few miles from the house where i grew up. i want to make sure that next generation for all of our families have the same opportunities to live the american dream that i had. that means focusing on the
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middle class, not on the tea party agenda. tonight i think you're going to your congressman gibson talk about being moderate looking for bipartisan solutions but when you look past the rhetoric to the record, you will see that he's never a moderate when it matters. >> moderator: mr. gibson, you have two minutes. gibson: thank you for tuning in and at home. i've had the high honor of serving the union and the congress and tonight i am asking for your support if i seek reelection. you know my story. i grew up or not here in a working-class family. i was the first one in my family to come to college and i went in the army for 24 years rising to the rank of colonel and a brigade commanded the 82nd airborne division. i let some of local heroes in the battle in iraq. i retired years ago to run for congress to grow this economy and to move us back to a balanced budget over time so that future generations have the same choices and freedom that we have had to focus on local issues and i will tell you it's
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been a great honor and privilege to serve you republicans, democrats and independents alike i4 gunster relief, broadband how on-line disease and helping small businesses grow. this election offers a clear choice. my opponent has run a nasty and a deceptive campaign. although it isn't likely he's traveled to your town you like we have seen his nasty commercials. senior citizens snarling at me, they don't even talk that way. and he has claimed that i voted to end medicare designated the law of the year and he has made other false claims as well saying that i voted to deny women the right to an abortion even in the case of rape and incest this is completely untrue. i'm not even overturning roe v. wade. he can't be trusted and in terms ti fa bipartisan budgetr democrats and republicans working together to grow this economy to control spending. he's always talked about the budget and he will talk about it
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tonight. he's never told us what budget he supports. he has no plans, just false attacks and to send him to washington would be a big mistake we have too much partisanship. i am somebody that can bring people together to get things done and i am looking forward to the date. thank you. >> moderator: before we went on the air we flipped a coin to see who would get the first question, and it goes to mr. schriebman and the stocks but congressman gibson just said what is in the capitol region, the hudson valley, anywhere else in this district this is the first opportunity to see the both of you in action they've been inundated with campaign ads from both of you as well s others. i want to give you the opportunity to think that this campaign against you haen fair when it comes to you voting recorand in your ca mr. gibson or your characer.
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anmr. schriebman u get the question, 90econds.ank you. you raise an important criticism in the personal criticism. i'm running for a tough campaign and i make no apology for that because the issues are important but you will not hear me criticize the congressmen personally. the friends in washington are so concerned they may lose an ally for their agenda on the erroneous and absolutely false ads attacking the character so false after a day or to bear forced to take them off the air. if this is an important decision and folks need to make a decision based on the fact that is what my campaign is based on and ensure that folks know the truth about the record and the different alternatives that i offered. the fact is you voted to restrict a woman's right to choose, and you have voted even to criminalize abortion even the case of rape and incest that is
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the vote on h.r. 3803. you voted to end the guarantee medicare and make it harder for folks to have access to critical health services by voting to end more than 40 years of bipartisan commitment to the women's health care and voted to end support for planned parenthood. to me my campaign depends upon you, the voter, knowing the truth. that is the campaign is focused on and we will continue to be focused on that and i am sorry that the oversight has decided to make false negative attacks. >> you have 45 seconds schriebman: i've kept my campaign advertisements for a talkative and i can't control outside younce but i will tell you this that was actually put backup and you heard me say that it was actually put back up and it's part of your biography then you don't talk about much. you were a lawyer that worked for a new york city firm and to defendant the white collar
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criminals and you'd think you'd be proud of talking a lot of. in terms of your ads. the nonpartisan fact check organization and not abortion, let me just tell you this that was a leave term abortion bill it's similar to new york state. i did not vote to criminalize abortion and i will tell you it is a lie. >> moderator: thank you very much, congressman. the first question goes to vielkind. >> both of you leave it to the federal health insurance pergamon your statements. the trustees currently project will be insolvent by 2024. with as much specificity as possible could you please describe your plans to strengthening that program, something you both said you want to do and can you say whether they include raising the eligibility age from currently 65? >> moderator: you have two minutes. gibson: in have?
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right? >> moderator: that's right. gibson: this is something very personal for me. my mom is on the program and she is 75. i hope she lives to be 100. maybe more. we want this program to be around. the trustees say it is going to go bankrupt. i support to concept that will get the conversation started. the first one is a premium support model i supported last year. this expands the medicare advantage concept that right now 25% of seniors have where they pick the plan the trustees will then pay the premiums this was federally guaranteed regulated and as i said, 25% of the seniors have it now and the shift to $2,400 it doesn't shift $2,400 to seniors. the other concept that supported with an accountable care framework i supported that this year.
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we have to work together to get this done. we can't have the kind of campaign that my opponent is running. he keeps saying it ended the conversation when we voted for a concept in a budget proposal. it wasn't even in authorizing language. we have to have a concept and then put it in authorizing language. i would tell you it is disappointing given the fact you don't even have a plan yourself. but you know what has it been scored by the cbo and said that it's going to save medicare i don't think so. >> moderator: mr. schriebman, 45 seconds. schriebman: we should take a lesson from the doctors creed which is first, do no harm. congressman voted to shorten the life span of the medicare trust fund by at least eight years with his votes in congress. the fact is whenever he wants to say but characterizing his vote the "the wall street journal" but salles said would essentially and medicare let's be clear about the budget does, and you can talk about procedures in washington the
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fact is when you vote for a budget that is your plan and the congressman came home to the district and said that's my plan. here is what that plan does. it takes medicare which is currently guaranteed and ends the guarantee and vote to raise the eligibility age turn into a privatize of the larger program which independent estimates say will increase the cost. >> moderator: thank you very much. we have to move on to the next question. this goes to karen vielkind of new york public radio. >> my question, gentlemen, is about the fiscal cliff. we didn't hear about in the presidential debate. but early next year all of the busheir of tax cuts expire on the capitol gains and other things along the sequestration to essentially mean $100 billion of mandatory across-the-board cuts and many programs that fit new yorkers is elected or be elected and mr. gibson's casar would you seek to avoid this pending fiscal cliff. the question goes to mr. schriebman.
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schriebman: thanks, karen. this is symbolic. this fiscal cliff that we face and the dysfunction that we've seen in washington for the past two years ever since that he pretty close of 2010 including mr. gadson arrived in congress. the partisanship and dysfunction the budget plan that congress manages sprout lee said he voted for last year, so-called cooper latourette has even deeper and more significant cuts in the critical programs than the sequestration, the fiscal cliff that we face while placing an enormous additional tax burden on the middle class taxpayers. to me i look at this as someone who's spent a career in dimond public service to copyedited if a prosecutor and a person that wasn't allowed to see republican or democrats and bring an
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approach that says we all need to work together on this. we have to put our fiscal house in order. there is no other option. but we can't do with the proposal the congressman favors. he said he would defer to completely different budgets but they have one important thing in common. they both place a burden of getting our house in order squarely on the backs of the middle class where it does not belong. >> moderator: congressman gibson, the rebuttal? gibson: it is not true. let me just say his comment on medicare, too is not true. they say that it was the lobby of the year and i didn't vote to raise the eligibility age of this issue on the fiscal cliff is such an important issue of our time, and i have actually voted for a plan that will avoid the fiscal clef. the cooper moderate bipartisan budget that was fashioned after the deficit reduction commission is 4 trillion in savings that is
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1.2 trillion in program of comprehensive tax reform that lets them get the three injured billion in revenue that we lost in the recession and it commits to discipline spending levels to the democrats and republicans can agree to together. the fact of the matter is there is too much partisanship. this is an opportunity to come together and i am disappointed my opponent won't sign up north. casey? we have received a number of questions already. it's on the mind of bruce stockman who asks in your time with politics naim one significant achievement that is the result of working with a member of the opposite party. the leadership is going to zero of the loan interest program for broadband. i thought there was a big
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mistake and i'm going to them and we need this program here in upstate new york it helps education and we've already made up our mind. and when to bring in amendments to the floor of the house of representatives and they said we are not here, aren't you? we are going to send an e-mail out to our party and tell them you can try but you will fail. i went out and i worked with them on both sides of the aisle anybody that supported a broadband in the past the new country certainly has come and when it came time for that vote we had 90 republicans and 131 democrats and we returned the leadership by working together in a bipartisan effort. we will continue to keep the debate to compete for. i refer peter welch to ensure we get funding for the storm
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relief, that was fema and the roads and bridges and there was a bipartisan effort of with peter welch. so i can tell you that i absolutely believe you hear all of this news today on the news folks can't come together. we have come together and we did in transportation and free trade agreements and the training wall and i am going to continue to do that when you send me back because that is my home responsibility >> moderator: mr. hriebman to you have a rebuttal? schriebman: absolutely we need the broadband in upstate new york we need to make a commitment to the public-private partnership. the contras and however brags on his website the funding for their role broadband is lower now than it was four years ago. when it comes to bipartisanship it just isn't there. it's so important as has been renewed regularly on a bipartisan basis and many republicans both like to do that this past year.
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not, he sided with the party to push for a narrow version that left women out. when it comes down to the issues that matter to folks like medicare the contras and has no record and no credibility. >> moderator: second question back to casey. >> mr. schriebman is no surprise we have been getting a lot of questions on hydro tracking which is the environmental issue that eclipse all the others. the two that we just received one days mentioned sovereignties and they are almost exactly similar to combine them. is it possible to safely frack? schriebman: from my standpoint when i think of any public policy issue like can be called upon to vote on what i want to look at is the evidence. as the well was the significant risk to the economy's vigor in the direction.
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i've spoken to many small businesses across this district. their livelihood will be put at risk. think about the game in cooperstown that settles the quality of the water put at risk the man of the above testing in upstate new york a big employer in our region so to me when we look at our energy future, we have better options than fracking in upstate new york. the congressman voted to weaken the cd while promoting the nuclear plant. i think that is record when it comes to safety should give all of our voters a great pause. we have a tremendous option. right now in this region when it comes to renewable and alternative energies it should be the focus of our investment here it overwhelmingly shows significant risk from fracking for the environment and the economy. >> moderator: frank here in new york. >> what he said on the violence
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against women is slightly on truman. the only vote it i had with a chance to vote for her bill surely would have supported the senate side what he told you is slightly on true. with. this is a repeated pattern he said i voted to cut 6,000 nuclear safety records. there's absolutely no vote or voted that way this is always the way that this candidate proceeds but on tracking we have to be confident that it protect our water and air so i'm not in a position to endorse it and when we do get into position assuming we can that it's safe. >> moderator: the question from karen dewitt goes back to congressman gibson. >> the tax code overhaul
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governor romney talked about overhauling the nation's tax code he hadn't offered specifics with mortgage interest reduction for the state and local taxes and federal income-tax what changes would you support? gibson: when i voted for the bipartisan budget cooper latourette it is a pro-growth tax reform the economy helps small business and hard-working families but let me say on the tax code i studied this extensively and had sessions with a cpa and an irs worker come in on her of time and give me to dillinger and our code is just complex and unfair. it's unfair because it favors the multinational corporations who can afford a whole wing of lawyers that can find the loopholes so what we need to do is commit to going through the tax code protecting the middle class provisions like mortgage and our local taxes and like our
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health care expenditures and charity those kind of things in the bipartisan budget we protect and put things on the table for bipartisan discussions so that we can close the loopholes that allow us to lower their rates for all. when you lower their rates that's going to help small business is growing and it's also going to help hard-working families. 96% of the take-home pay for the middle class they spend. so if they see a rise in their take-home pay at the end of the year the are going to spend 96% of it. this is important because it's not just enough to have the small business in a place to grow to recapitalize the workers need a demand for the product and that is why the tax reform that helps the middle class is so vitally important. i regret my opponent he doesn't need to support the bipartisan budget he calls me extreme that the journal has me at the center, where is he? he is out here on the left. >> the only thing bipartisan about the proposal is that was
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rejected on a bipartisan basis overwhelmingly. in part because it was put $2 trillion of additional taxes on the middle class taxpayers backs. they also endorsed the paul ryan budget that doubles down on the george bush's failed policies that give enormous tax giveaways to the wealthiest among us while cutting the needed programs like pell grants and medicare it's not the right solution. we need real tax reform that makes a difference and a good difference for our middle class. that includes allowing the bush tax cut at the top end to expire and a means of allowing hedge funds, ensuring that hedge fund managers take facts on their income as income and the kilby have tax relief for the small businesses and middle class. ..
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one i strongly favor is updating our electrical grid in new york. we waste 10% of our energy because of the outdated grid. fixing that will give us jobs and improve our energy future. the same can be said of many of the renewable options in upstate new york. we have biofuel projects and solar and wind here in upstate new york. solid investment will create jobs and improve energy
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independence. the keystone pipeline was made into a political football. the president wanted to study it further because it's a detailed, significant issues, and different local responses to it across the areas it would cover. so i agree with further study to make sure it's where those in the region want to go with. i've spoken to many folks in the district are concerned about whether the the pipeline here would be imminent domain. so we need to make sure we know what the community wants before pushing it on them. pod mod do you have a followup? gibson: we have a path for the
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cotitutional pipeline. schreibman: i haven't seen enough. i get to label politician but i'm never going to be someone who bluffs through it. i haven't seen any details to know whether it's the right pl. >> moderator: thank you. >> it was a simple question, yes or. no due you support the keystone pipeline. the answer is,, you should support it because y're working for hard-working families paying $4 a gallon. and your description of the -- we get those revenues through growth, and that's a bipartisan plan. your energy plan is concerning to small business owners and farmers, not only do you have a tax of -- that you want to raise their tax but you also support the cab and trade. this is going to cost a million jobs. have you talked to farmers?
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>> many of them. gibson: you're climbing up the backs of the farmers. i support the keystone, route m, but i do have concern that we can't be taking property from individuals. okay. >> moderator: tnk you very much. we'll listen to your questions now. we'll head over to casey. >> a question from kate. brain resuch and neuroscience established that the first five years are critical for a child's development. what actions will you take to make sure children are ready to learn. >> this is something i have studied extensively. a woman near here started the head start program. and i had chance to be with here and see the instruction that was given to meet the parents that are going through it, and i think about my own childhood, in
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a working class family, and i thank god that we live in a country that provides these opportunities. i was proud to vote for a $400 million increase for head start. with the ryan budget, passed the houston, when the senate passed no budget, the ryan budget was dead. i'm supporting a bipartisan budget that i believe will go somewhere and we're going to avoid the fiscal cliff. but on heat standard, -- head start, was proud to vote for that increase. it's vitally important that when we look at education -- i was a product of public schools myself. i'm proud to have the endorsement of the teachers' union. i think it's important we support our schools. we have too much federal involvement. too many mandates. we're trying to -- we have this
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culture of test-taking, all from the "no child left behind." well intentioned but a mistake and we should roll it back. >> i'm glad the kingman had an opportunity to see what a tremendous impact head start has on young children. but the simple fact is, he did vote to slash the head start program. that's a matter of fact. a matter of record. and it was not some inadvertent part of a budget plan. that was the entire philosophy. behind the ryan budget you embraced and called your plan. a plan that ended our commitment to things like early childhood education, pell grants, cut severely into medicare and gave it away in tax decreases for the wealthiest among us.
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>> moderator: our second way question from you folks at home. >> patrick ryan notes you have both played roles protecting the country. what is your view regarding torture, harsh interrogation techniques used by the military and our intelligence services? >> i'm absolutely opposed to torture. i appreciate the questioner recognizing our respective commitments and services. i respect the congressman's, but the fact is, when we were attacked on september 11th. i was in cia headquarters that day. we came together as a country afterwards and were able to bond together by the characteristics of americans that make this a great and strong country, and what we recognized is that when we are less true to our values,
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allow ourselves to be weakened, that's when we're put at greatest risk so we should all of u absolutely make clear, a rejection of torture and enhanced interrogation techniques. we're a country that will be respected in the country and will continue to be a moral leader in the world as long as we uphold the values and to additions and -- traditions trad th's what believe weed in to do. >> just to set the record straight, budgets. you vote context but if you don't have a senate passing a budget you can't reconcile it. what does matter is the appropriations at the end of the year. that's the money that actually goes the various agencies and i voted for a $400 million increed in head start and proud to have done it. i don't support torture. it doesn't square with who we are as a people. i tell you i don't believe it to be reliable. having been a commander on the ground, the best way to get
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information from the enemy that you capture is to affiliate with them and put them in a position they think it's in their best terests to share with you. otherwise you're just going to get lies. so it's the wrong thing to do for our val skews the wrong thing om a tactical perspective. >> moderator: we'll head back to the panel now. jimmy, you get to ask mr. gibson. >> kingman, two years ago in this room you announcedour support for building a nuclear power plant in what was then the 20th congressal district. can you update us on that? >> i check into things extensively, and me desire so drive down gasoline prices, electricity prices, for our hard-working constituents is very sincere. i pulled together an energy advisory committee with the idea
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that nuclear power could be part of the future. the electricity here, 25% of our energy comes from nuclear power right now in new york state. but after going through an extensive study, my deduction was that the most important thing we need to do right now is to work on transmission. we pay 20% more right here in the albany area than western new york even though we have the same supply and demand dynam. it's because we don't efficiently move electricity. if we had pla we couldn't move the energy, so what did, because i term, limited myself to not more than eight years, i'm focused on transition, and i have offered a bill with michael thompson, and that provides tax credits to work storage on updated grids. and let me say one last thing. he said i cut 6,000 nuclear safety workers. that's absolutely false.
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and so i no longer support the plant for here because i don't think it's feasible for us. i would tell you that the president and senator schumer all support nuclear power. >> modator: you have 40 seconds. >> congressman, you voted to cut $28 million from nuclear safety programs. that's the record. it's not something i can make up. it's not a matter of characterizing anything. it's a record that anyoning go and look up and find. you know, it didn't and wouldn't have taken me two years to figure out that the citizens of upstate new york don't want another nuclear plant in their backyard and it's not the right choice for their future. the fact is the cgressman didn't answer that question, didn't tell you he rejected that as the future, just decided he wants to focus on something else first. the fact is, this is the future of upstate new york. we have nowhere to put those spent fuel rods. we have much, much better
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alternatives here than the nuclear plant he championed. >> moderator: to the panel, this questions -- >> the farm bill,ongress and president were able to agree on the renewal of the farm bill. farmers will lose their safety net. milk prices could double. what's it going to take to get this farm bill passed? >> this is exactly symbolic of the partisanship and disfunction we have seen ever sense the tea party came to power. yes, farmers are in need of assistance and support, and the absence of a farm bill says to them we're not working hard
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enough for them. from my perfect you talk about this district, and it's so important to remain focused on the needs of this district. this is a district where we do not have agribusines and corporate farmings. you have family farms. our need to focus on federal agriculture policy that responds to family farmers, ensuring we're supporting farmers not involved in single crops. we need agriculture and farm policy that fits right to our family farms here in new york. that's what i'll absolutely be focused on. farmers want to be treated fairly, not be subjected to unfair competition from the big guys out there in the midwest. >> congressman gibb sub, 45
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seconds. iwe'ing get the farm bill this year, and brian has been tracking it. i've been very involved in the process. i've gotten amendments, many of them into the bill. i'm very pud to s that. we have dairy securityn there, dairy farmers now n even cover the cost of production and we're going to fix that. we have to inspire a new generation to come to the farm and we're talking about grants and loans and conservation programs. i'm proud to say i'm a friend of the farmer and i got the farmers union endorsement. they endorse mostly democrats. this week i did an event on a farm and my opponent said i was outside the disict. uht ougo check it out. he was the first win to tell yo your cap and trade i a big dead-ender for farrs. moderator: back to viewer questi from t people at home. this question goe to the
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ressman. >> congressman gibson, question on foreign policy from bruce in stone ridge. doeshe.s.ave a special relationshipith israel ors just another country and why or why not? >> it is a special relationship. for me this is very personal. as a young man, 26, in the persian gulf war, as we were making our move up towards iraq and all the scuds in the area and having the opportunity for a few minutes a day to listen to bbc, and to hear that some of those scuds were landing in israel, i will tell you, at that point, being a student of history and knowing the soviet union still being out, i feared for a regional or maybe even a world war. we asked israel to do something that no country should ever ask another country and that was to not retaliate, and israel did that, even though they head people killed and things
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destroyed. i could not fully understand how they could do that. it is a very special relationship. we share the same values, the same democratic process, and israel is a friend we will always be there for. i'm proud to support the agreement we have with them, that invests in their future to make sure they're prepared to defend themselves. it's $3 billion a year but 70% is spent right here, and i think it's important, with iran, that we keep a very solid and solidified front with our friends overseas, too, because, war is in no one's interests. not in robb's interest, not in israel's interest and not in our interest. so we need world class diplomacy and have these work. >> do we have special relationship with israel? >> we do. as we discussed at our last debate, it's important to pause
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and recognize where we have areas of agreement. politics traditionally should end at the water's edge and what the congressman said about israel i would echo. we have a good strong relationship there, and there's very good reasons for having a good solid relationship. the democratic traditions of israel and the powerful ally they have been for news that region. >> there's a good chance that the house is going to stay in republican control after november. so, question from steven hey who asks, how are you going to work with the opposite party so bills that are needed by the entire country are not held up by partisanship? >> first of all, regardless of who controls the house of representatives, a person committed to serving the community can make an enormous difference in congress, bitten suring that the folkses in our ridge signal offices are
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responsive and are dedicated and follow up. so regardless of whether the congressman's republican party and john boehner remain in control or democrats take control of the house, i'm committed to ensuring we have the best people in our office responding to the needs of our constituents. in terms of working with the other side of the aisle, the last two years we have seen, getting nothing done in congress, that we will learn from that when we begin a new session in january. from my part, having spent most of my career in nonpartisan public service, not seeing republican or democrat, i believe i have the experience and the temperment to ensure i can reach across the aisle. is a said at the outset, we're we have a sharp campaign because i care about the values of the
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region. you haven't heard me say anything negative about the congressman personally. it's very important to say you have differences but not personalize them. and that's the attitude i'll bring to service in congress. >> congressman gibson? >> julian is right on constituent services, regardless what party you're in. we serve, republicans, democrats, independents, we work 90 to 100 cases a week and it's a high honor and privilege to do so. what i see in the next congress, we're going get the farm bill done. 35-11 was the bipartisan voting committee. transportation bill, i was proud to help shape that. and the budget. i want to continue work on national security. let me say one last thing. you were very partisan when you were the party chair. you divide your party and divided the county. >> moderator: next question from karen for the kingman.
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>> it's about foreign policy. the obama: administration now says terrorists were behind the murder of u.s. ambassador in libya, christopher stevens, should the u.s. have known more about what was going on in libarch better security for our people? what more do you think needs to be done to fight terrorism? >> look, karen, i have taken a classified brief so i cannot go into extensive details here but it's already apparent that we made mistakes. the president has come forward and taken responsibility for that. clearly more should have been done. what's important right now is we mourn the losses of the families, that we learn what happened. that we don't rush to judgment. we figure out -- we certainly will find the perpetrators and there will be justice for those that did this. then it's important that we learn from these experiences. i will tell you that i post military operations in libya last year. and i say that after very careful consideration and
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thought. i spent a lifetime in national security. i also think we need to think and act differently. absolutely we need the world's strongest military to protect us and to be a deterrent. to protect our way of life but we have morphed into the world's policemen. we should be leading with our democracy and our trade and commerce. we don't know what is going on. that's the problem last year, we didn't have situational awareness. those are basic things i learned in the military, and what i want to see us do is think and act differently and then conduct reform because i believe we can be safer for less money and then put investments into education and broadband and infrastructure and fight lyme disease so we don't have to spend that extra money overseas.
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>> moderator: 45 seconds. >> clearly the state department should have done more to protect that mission, and as well the congress shouldn't have cut moneys for diplomatic security around the world. the fact is, this was tragic reminder of how dangerous a job it is to serve our country over seas in diplomatic posts. as someone who helped prosecutor terrorists who bombed our embassies in other areas, i'm aware of the dangers they face and to find those responsible and bring them to justice. i know that's underway right now and i'm confident that will come to fruition and that's the right approach to take. >> moderator: now back to the panel. >> today a federal circuit court ruled that the defense of marriage act is unconstitutional. this is perhaps going to go to the supreme court do you support the defense of marriage act which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, and
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has an effect on new yorkers who are legally married in same-sex unions? >> i don't support doma. i am very proud to live in a state that recognizes marriage equality. the fact is, the government should not be discriminating between people based on who they love. as it's been said, those of news public service should be less concerned with who people go to bed with at night and more concerned whether either of them have a job to go to in the morning. that's the responsibility of public servants. i believe that folks who are married legal in new york should be able to live legally married throughout the united states. >> moderator: congressman? >> just as a matter of fact, doma does allow states to decide on this issue. it makes a statement at the federal level but allows for states to make decisions on marriage. i do support doma. and, look, i understand what the
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court has rendered today. but the process is not done. it will go to the supreme court, and as long as it's the law of the land, we should be supporting it until the final word is said on that. that's just the way the country works, the legislative branch and executive branch. with regard to gay marriage, let me just say that i support civil unions. but i don't support gay marriage because that should be a religious question and decided by religious institutions but i do believe everyone is entitled to rights and that's why i support civil unions. >> moderator: next question to the kingman. >> this keep in via e-mail. how would you restructure the
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taxes? >> i talked about the need to make our code more simple and fair. we have way to many loopholes taken advantage of because it's school in they have lawyers that find these loopholes. that doesn't mean it's right. even if it's legal, we should change that because it's not helping create jobs. every day i meet with small business owners, and those guys, a lot of them just -- they come fresh from their work. they have oil on them and grease, and they can't afford to hire a whole wing of lawyers to find these loopholes? that's an example. and by the way, jets and oil companies and loopholes that allow companies to write off moving jobs overseas, those are primed to be closed. that helps our small businesses. we can lower rates for our guys and gals and hard-working families. so what i'm for is making sure we execute this process. i have voted to stepped -- extend out the current rates for
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a year, and that's to support our manufacturers and our farmers, who will tell you that my opponent's plan will crush 700,000 jobs and when you add it to cap and trade, he crushes 1.7 million jobs. so i want to extend out, just like i did with the payroll tax. i supported the president, and i'm supporting this, to extend it out a year so we can get comprehensive pro growth tax reform so we close the loopholes, lower rates, and get the revenues we lost when we went into a recession. this is going to help us. >> moderator: 45 seconds. >> this is another example of where the congressman's record, rhetoric, bears absolutely no resemblance to his record. the fact is he snead the way of a middle class tax cut in order to demand yet another huge tax break for the wealthiest among us. he voted to give $4 billion of
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taxpayer subsidies to the oil companies. the ryan budget and the cooper budget that places on enormous burden on the middle class, has been to shift the burden on to middle class taxpayers and give greater and greater benefits to the wealthy and biggest corporation. that's the plan he supports because that's the plan he voted for. >> moderator: time for just one more question, and because we're near the end of the broadcast, the answer will be 60 seconds and rebuttal 30. that goes to casey. >> this came via twitter. the congressman keeps talking about how you haven't stated your plan for the economy. what is your plan? >> we need to look at what works in an economy, and have policies that promote economic growth and put people back to work. that's what worked in the 1990s, with bipartisan support under the clinton administration. we had a fair -- fairer tax
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policy. we were putting millions of people back to work. they were working, earning money, paying taxes, spending money. that succeeded. then president bush came in, slashed taxes on the wealthy. we had very, very slow growth. fought two wars on a credit card, and our record surpluses turned into record deficits, and the policies the kingman has continued to support take us right back there again. same as what mitt romney would do, same at what president bush did. that's the congressman's voting record. so we need policies that put people back to work. that's what is going to imimprove our economy. >> he made a statement but i didn't hear anything that reseptember eled -- resembled a plan. i have plan, it's driving down healthcare costs and repealing the well-intentioned president's
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bill. i agree with the goals but the law will never live up to the goals of driving down costs. i have a replacement, six point replacement plan. energy, driving down costs for hard-working families and looking to the future, and i voted strongly, nine times to increase the efficiency -- >> moderator: i have to cut you off. we're fast approaching the end of the broadcast. the formal questioning is now over and each candidate now has one minute for closing statement. as determined before honda, you'll go first. >> thank you very much. this election presents very clear choices, as you heard tonight. unfortunately, the congressman has repeated over and over again that i'm somehow misrepresenting, that i'm saying things that aren't true. the fact is, my campaign depends entirely on folks knowing the truth about the congressman's record, and i can say with great confidence the things i'm saying about his record because it is
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his record. you can go find it, and i encourage you to do so. the fact is you voted to end the guarantee of medicare, voted to defund planned parenthood, and voted to criminalize abortion even in cases of rape and insist, and i'm disappoint we have had two debates and women's health care has not been brought up, and voted to slash educational opportunity. the fact is, he keeps saying, i don't know how many times, lie of the year, the congressman's campaign is running an attack ad against me based on the lie of the year for 2010. >> thanks for tuning in tonight. it's flatly untrue, and you can look it up. the national journal ranked my 2011 voting record at the center of the house. the washington post ranks me as the third most independent republican. there's a clear choice. what you heard tonight, my opponent has to plan to grow the
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economy, to deal with the deficit, no plan to save medicare, and no plan for anything except for raising tacks and that's going to crush our small businesses and farmers. that's not the kind of representation they're looking for. you can hear this back and forth. it really comes down to trust. who can you trust? are you going to trust a lawyer that works for a new york city law firm that has trouble telling the truth? or are you going to trust a combat veteran, somebody who fought for you, somebody who voluntarily gives his pension back to the treasurery for the time i'm serving you. i'm not looking to be a career politician. you can trust me. i have a record of bringing people together. my endorsements reflect that. building trades, teachers, a wide variety. i'm looking forward to your support. >> moderator: gentlemen, thank you both for participating in the debate. this is a valuable one hour for the 19th district. i also want to thank our panel.
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you can watch this full debate all over again from now until election day. head to our web site, ny now, and we'll catch you up friday night on our weekly version of "new york now." for all of us here, thanks for watching. do not forget to vote on november 6th. >> coming up tonight on c-span2, a law school conference focusing on the balance between government secrecy, transparency and public access to information. first, we hear from national security reporters on national security leaks. and then former federal officials discuss government secrecy and transparency. >> on tomorrow morning's washington journal, we'll talk about how polls are conducted and analyzed and how new
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technology challenges the polling industry. scott of the pew research center is our guest. followed by a political overview of the state of colorado. then a look at how mitt romney and the republicans are campaigning across the state with republican strategyis sean tonner, and later, an always of president obama's strategy to win the state and elect democrats. our guest is democratic party chair, rick palacio. washington journal receives tweets and e-mails every morning on c-span. >> we have a pretty simple proposition here. you can either embrace the kind of approach that congressman wilson embraced. a tea party approach to balancing the budget. it has no new revenue.
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and it's so draconian it would require deep cuts in social security and medicare over time. or we can embrace a balanced approach. that's what i support. i think we can go back to the kind of tax rates we had under the clinton administration, when those upper income earners were doing well and the entire economy was growing. we're going to have to make some tough choices, and a balanced approach is the only approach i believe will get us there. >> heather, your rebuttal. >> it's amazing to me that you can stand here having voted for trillion dollar deficits for the last four years. the largest, fastest debt increase in american history. and say that we have to control spending. you've done nothing to control spending over the last four years. and with respect to cut cap and balance, it's amazing to me also that the idea of cutting wasteful spending, capping the ability of congress to spend money we don't have, and balancing the budget, is extreme.
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i think it would force congress to set priorities and stop funding things like solyndra and prioritize things like social security, medicare, and education, and that's why i support a balanced budget amendment to the constitution. >> the race to succeed retiring new mexico senator jeff bingeman is one of the key house races you can follow on c-span. >> fordham law school in new york city, held a conference. in this panel, national security reporters and law professors analyze national security leaks, including military drone strikes, enhanced interrogation programs and wick key -- wikileaks. this is an hour and 30 minutes.
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>> welcome to this session. this panel promises to be every bit as electric as the earlier one, in a way you might not imagine. i want to welcome the moderator, david mccraw, new to the center and has never been here in before. he has one of the most unknown and important jobs you can imagine. and i'm not sure how to describe it. he probably won't. but he is the assistant general counsel for the new york times and vice president there. so his job is to tell them, in other words, what they can do and what they can't do, and to think about things from libel to the issue surrounding leaks, and
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as you know from reading the "new york times" and other papers, from the wikileaks scandals there have been numerous occasion on which he probably spent a number of sleepless nights and i think you're going to enjoy him. so join me in welcoming the panel and david mccraw. [applause] >> thanks, karen. anybody who worked for "the new york times" knows my job cannot be involved telling people what to do. i try. i try. on the panel today, delighted to have david on the far left. ironically -- no. on the far left, associate professor of columbia university law school. former special advisor to the state department. scott horton next to him. the national security contributor to harpers magazine, ajunction faculty members at
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columbia law school, writes about the area, and next to me, scott shane, national security reporter in "the new york times." i've been told i'm supposeed to interrupt everybody. but i'm looking forward to trying to move this conversation along, and address what i think is from my side of the aisle an interesting issue, which is how does this play out when there's information that is classified that ends up in the hand of the press. what are the legal paradigms that should govern that in a real world? i come at this in a variety of ways. i currently am litigating on behalf of "the new york times" the suit to obtain what we believe actually exists, although the government denies or refuses to say, the legal memos underlying the drone
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strikes, and my colleagues in the aclu have a similar lawsuit and are here today as well. probably the way i most poignantly was involved with the issue was on wikileaks, and i received a call from bill keller's secretary to come to a meeting that was about to take place. i was at the oral surgeon, bleeding heavily, and had gauze in my mouth. i explained to her i was at the oral surgeon and i had a big bloody gauze in my mouth and i could come later. she said, you want to come now. so i came and continued to bleed for the rest of the day. nothing helped me at that meeting. the meeting was around the idea that we were going to get copies of the first set of wikileaks papers. over the next month, leading up to july 25, 2010, when the times published the first set of wikileaks documents, you can imagine from my perspective and the journalist's perspective, it
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was an incredibly busy time. i tried to understand, didn't really succeed -- the espionage act, understand liability, what exception could be found in the law, what the pentagon papers taught, what all those cases came to mean. and it was fairly momentous on july 25th when we first released those, and as a lawyer you have this sense, what happens now? no prior restraint. what happens now? what's going to be the consequence of this for press law, for liability, for national security? and what happens after july 25th is exactly what usually happens. i got invited to be on panels all over the world. talk aboute issue. at was it. we never heard from the government. what i found is that wikileaks became an ink blot of what you cared about. when i was in china, a professor
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in china raised the question -- i talked about how "the new york times" had been very careful in publishing these, concerned about not harming national security, not identifying, not exposing confidential informants and others who helped the u.s. government or allies in afghanistan. and this chinese professor raised his hand and said, well, did you call the taliban to find out if you would reveal their secrets? if your an independent medium, why are you taking sides? i acted like i didn't know what the translator said. when i got to hungary, the first -- hungary, country that understands about secrecy and understands the abuse that can be taken in the name of secrecy and government security. the first question was do you think the u.s. congress will change foya?
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now they see how value this information it. i think it's safe to say that was not the first instinct of congress. but i was happy when i got back to the u.s. and was on a panel with a former procutor and say, can't we agree it would be a really good thing for "the new york times" to be indicted so w can clarify the espionage act? no, we can't agree on that. so, with that, it's given me an opportunity to think a lot about the issues. you go back to the pentagon papers, a lawyer from "the new york times" and law professor, talked about what he saw as the disorderly situation, that the government should have broad powers to keep people -- to keep secrets, but once those secrets pass to the fresh, theress view -- have the free tom -- freedom to publish. and that was part of an implicit
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bargain on the government side that prosecution, leakers, prosecutions of publishers, would be exceedingly rare, and on the press side, there would be responsibility, if you will there would be consideration. and you now see that i think some of that are began appears to -- appears to be breaking down. you now have six prosecutions of leakers in the obama: administration, after three prior prosecutions. you now have a press that is not just "the new york times" and not just the "was washington post" but wikileaks. so, it's a changing landscape on both sides. different kind of media. i think a different attitude in government, or at least that's what it appears to us. the rise of concerns about
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terrorism and concern for government secrecy, and the ability to transfer large amount of data electronically. you know, if you think back to the pentagon papers, daniel ellsworth has to come to "the new york times" or a paper like "the new york times" to get the secret out. and that was the only way to make them public. not so now. when the government wanted to do terrible things to daniel elseberg, they had to send people to break into this psychiatrist's office. no longer necessary. they have other tools. it seems very old-fashioned. what i really want to start with the panel, have things really changed? are leaks a more serious threat now? have the prosecutions shut off the flow of information the public? is it time to give more legal protection to leakers? acte to clarify the espionage nd should we revisit the scheme for classification? ha things changed? and if so, what should we do
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about it. i'll -- everybody has to be named david or scott on this panel. that's 2009 requirements so start with david. >> thanks. it's an honor to be here, and thanks for having me to be on a panel with sh distinguished scotts. there's so much to say here that it's going to be tough to stay within time. or maybe just that i'm an academic now. i think my charge is to kind of frame the conversation a bit with some more legal context, and in his opening remarks i thought i'd try to make two main points, or establish two main propositions to get us going. the first is, just how remarkably rarely the laws against leaking have been enforced in this country, in light of what the laws permit and what political rhetoric might suggest. the second point is we can't understand this negligible
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enforcement rate and how government benefits on being leaky, so just how rare formal sanctions are against leakers relative to the universe of potentially actionable leaks. by most peoples counseled there have been nine prosecutions of leakers to the media in u.s. history. i think that figure may by a little wrong but it's roughly nine. a journalist has never been prosecuted. administrative sanctions might be thought to be a backstop. a lot easier to bring for the government. it's tough to know exactly what administrative practice has been in this area, but all evidence suggests administrative formal sanctions against leakers are also very rare. there's a long line of government studies that have suggested that point. there are very few press reports of people being formally disciplined for leaking, notwithstanding the press
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reports would have significant deterrent value for governments to depress leaking rates and not withstanding the discipline employee's interest in claim the blower erstad tuesday. -- blower status. i've also submitted bunch of requests for research i'm doing. not all returns are in but they suggest that leakers throughout the u.s. government are very rarely formally punished. the second point is that there are a lot of leaks of classified information. i doubt i need to provide much foundation for that point to this audience but a government report, called the willard report, called classifies information leaks. a routine daily occurrence in washington. so the claim there is they're daily.
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the wmd commissions, public report in 2005, referred to hundreds of serious press leaks of classified information over the past decade alone. the third point is that a piece of argument, is that most of these classified information leaks are potentially prosecutable. the willard report from 1982, in virtually all cases the unauthorized disclosure of classified information potentially violates one or more federal statutes. the act which is the main statute involved has a lot of ambiguities i won't rehash here. but generally you have to prove the defendant knew his or her actions were unlawful; that the information was not already in the public domain, and in some circumstances you have to show potential damage to the national security from the dischose sure. courts defined the term national security broadly to implicate most foreign relations information, too.
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but if there's potential damage to national security and no court has accepted a defense of improper classification of a document and millions of federal employees sign nondisclosure agreements when they're let into classified programs, seeing they realize disclosure of the classified information will damage the national security, it's quite hard to see why most disclosures of classified info aren't at least potentially prosecutable. moreover, not just the espionage act, there are number of other criminal statutes, potentially applicable to leakers. perhaps most notely 18usc641. it criminalizes conversion of property or other things of value of the u.s. got. most circuits, although there's some split. read that to cover intangible information, including tangible documents. so 641, at least in most of the
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country, seems like you could catch all classified information leaks. and finally, the whistle blower laws are very little protection for defendants. in no circumstance does they authorize disclosure of classified information directly to the public. steve has written on that. so you put all this together, all that i just said about the frequency of leaks, and how they can be prosecuted and how rarery they and are you end up with a de minimis enforcement rate. gary loss, student of leaks, estimated that 0.3% of all potentially indict able classified information leaks do get indicted in u.s. history. that was using extremely conservative estimate of the potential prosecutable leaks, basically ones publicly acknowledged to the government
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to have occurred and referred to the justice department. the real rate is probably close to zero. so even with the recent uptick in leaked prosecutions under this administration, while it's been branded a war against leaks by a lot of people, it's really more of a special operation. and just statistically, i think that's point helps -- might help provide context. there is still very, very rare enforcement. that's not to minimize the significance of what is happening. i think scott is going to talk about that. not to suggest it's not an important new development, but statistical perspective might be useful. so then a puzzle arises, why is there so little enforcement against leakers, if i'm right? time doesn't permit me a full answer here but let me just say quickly, the standard reasons you hear are insufficient. you hear two main things. the first thing you hear -- this came out in the first panel this morning -- it's so difficult to
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catch leakers. that has some truth but is unsatisfying. first, someone other than the leaker knows who leaked in almost every leaked case and that's the journalist. doj has had a very prestrucktive policy that is self-imposed, not constitutionally mandated, making it extremely difficult to subpoena a journalist. it's only happened a few dozen times. administrations have also forgone certain powerful investigatory tools. ronald reagan proposed a simmic program of polygraphs for suspected leak case, and every official who meets with the media in a con next which classified information could come up would have to give prior notice of the meeting and then submit a memo afterwards about what was discussed.
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there was huge back lash from the press and they were never implemented. it was argued that they're not the norm. and finally, even not withstanding the restrictions put on its work, doj has had some success in catching leakers when they have been brought to dojs attention. we don't have much public data but from 2005 to 2009, doj initiated 26 investigations of leaks that were referred to it from the intelligence community, and it identified a suspect in 14 of the 26 cases. now there may be some selection there. i assume the fbi doesn't open investigations it thinks are bound to be quixotic, but 14 out of 26 is a decent success rate. that suggests many more leakers could be caught. the other thing you hear is it's so tough to bring these prosecutions, national security might be put at risk by the very
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action of bringing these prosecutions if you need to disclose information. well, one thing to say about that, the classified information procedures act was designedded in 1980 specifically with these dilemmas in mind. there's a burden on those who would say it's not working to show why. moore, you're if you bring a leak prosecution and the pretrial rulings by the judge auger poorly, either for the prosecution or national security reasons, plea agreements do exist, resulting in a relatively light conviction for drake, but -- so it's widely described as a failure of prosecution of a leaker, but in terms of the actual experience of punishment for someone, and deterrent effect, it's still a powerful
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success for the government, even though a plea was all that was obtained. the other statutes, particularly the 641 statute, which is charged with less national security risk. there's even more evidence of a got not a prioritizing enforcement against leakers. one is that only a fraction of classified information leaks get referred to doj. basically the cia and the nsa make some referrals. if they're too clumsy and that's the reason for not being able to bring successful cases you expect the white house to prioritize legislative reform. no white house has, and president clinton voted to legislation -- veto legislation,
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you might expect administrative enforcement to pick up the slack. shift enforcement to the administrative round where we don't have to good in front of a judge. but there's actually hardly ever any administrative sanctions against leakers. so here's what i propose -- i should give the floor -- the missing piece of discussion is the executive branch benefits from a systemic process of being permissive of leaks. that doesn't mean some leaks might not be destructive or worthy of criticism. why might that be the case? one reason is that being permissive about leaks allows you to have a more robust able to, what some journal --
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journalist plant stories. if you want to make false disclosures of information from the white house, you can't be too vigorous in your crackdown on the unauthorized disclosures. why is that? imagine a world in which the executive branch vigorously cracked down on nonwhite house authorized leaks. we would then become very cynical and very suspicious about every unattributed disclosure we saw in the newspaper because we would expect if it wasn't white house authorized it would most often yield some kind of sanction, like a prosecution. this also gets to a puzzle raised by marty in the previous panel, where marty says it's all about not -- official acknowledgment. the white house wants to plant stories to get information out there. but it raises the question. if everyone knows all these thingous see in the up in are tantamount to official
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acknowledgment, then the whole game collapses, unless people are almost silly in their level of formalism here. so, how do you preserve that constructive ambiguity about weather the disclosure is -- you have to allow some give in the system, some amount of unauthorized or quasi-unauthorized leaking, at least that's my claim. very quickly, few other factors. most leaks that occur are not like bradley manning. they're not disclosures unauthorized in any sense of the term by a completely rogue low level actor. most actually occur in the middle space between full presidential authorization and no authorization. ...
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>> these are people who on multiple levels are tough to prosecute. it's not clear that it's worth it. finally, there's a big literature on leaks as a form of internal communication within the executive branch, how they allow you to bypass the awkwardness and sum cumbersomeness of channels. a quote, by the end of the administration, we had converted "the new york times" and washington post into our white house bulletin boards. so leaks have kind of deliberative value within government for government officials.
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leaks, i think, serve a strategic precommitment function. there's a lot of executive power scholarship recently that's emphasizing how if you want to be credible as an executive branch, you have to signal to the public that you're acting in law-abiding, responsible ways. how do you do that with such a bloated classification system? one way is leakiness. if we all expect that anything really vile that the executive branch does, it actually in some sense increases our faith in the government in that it's not doing truly prodid crouse things. i think, finally, being leaky staves off more fundamental and painful reform. similar to the last point i made, the executive branch is not forced to address the massive overclassification problem in part because constituencies for transparency feel adequately served that they're getting the info they need to learn.
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so in sum, i think the situation that we have while david referred to it as a disorderly situation is actually a lot more rational than maybe it seems on its surface and, um, we should be skeptical of claims that this is some kind of a suicidal bind we've gotten ourselves into in the way we have so much leaking. the executive branch has, in many senses, blessed the status quo. >> david, i would have cut you off sooner if i knew you were going to quote alexander haig, but you just surprised me. let me follow it with one question, though, because you have managed to transform this into a nice discussion of the leaky situation. i want to go back to the prosecution. and i say this just to provoke questions about it, thoughts about it. isn't it a little bit like the study that showed that there were very few beating of slaves, and that, you know, the conclusion was that slavery must have been a humane system
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because there weren't that many slaves beaten, but you don't have to beat every slaves to have slaves conform to the master's will. isn't it a few strategic prosecutions have a much wider effect on the nonprosecuted? >> so, um, it's an important question. one response is that, um, you might fear that whatever little observable sanctioning that happens is so thoroughly internalized by the system that you just don't need to bring cases. that hypothesis is not consistent with the volume of leaks that seem to occur. people don't seem cowed. but i think it's right. i think the -- i could give a long answer, but shortly i'll say i think, basically, there's a two-stage or two-level enforcement system the executive branch has devised. most leakers at a senior level are not subject to criminal prosecution. they are, therefore, not going to be cowed, not deterred. they are, however, subject to
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informal sanction. there are a lot of stories and reports in interviews that i've done that bear this out who are excluded from meetings, no promoted because they're seen to have leaked in the wrong sort of respects. that's in senior official.com. the lower level employees does not want to be leaking at all are more realistically subject to hard sanctions, criminal or administrative. i think a lot of them are feeling a little more cowed. they are -- and there's a sense in which this may be an optimal deterrent system for the executive branch if we can just surgically go after thomas drake and chill a whole lot of people around him. i think that's plausible. what it doesn't speak to is the more senior level of government where at least i'm proposing much of the action occurs. >> and we will come back to that, but scott horton, i could tell, was ready to jump in at many places.
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so the opportunity has come. >> maybe i'll just start with a bit of a plug. we just heard, i think, a great presentation that looks at the sociology of the situation, cuts through the official posturing to the realities of the way bureaucracies and political actors work and puts an overlay of the law on top of that. and if i had to give you some assigned reading for this sunk, i'd definitely -- function, i'd definitely assign an article recently published in the stanford law review called deep secrecy. i think it's one of the smartest, best works on the subject, so you should all go look it up. now, i'm going to try and make a case for a different framing of these issues. i mean, we're talking about leaks here. i mean, it sounds like a ship that isn't seaworthy somehow. i don't think that's really the issue we should be focused on. what we really need to address is the quality and nature of our democracy and what we expect in it. and i think pulling back a
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little bit we see in the interplay of a secrecy concept really a sort of power play. we see a realignment of political decision making within our society in which people who have the supersecret decoder ring, you know, the highest level of national security classification, are the only people who have access to the vital information that enables them to participate in discussion and decisions about high-level national security matters. and that means -- and i think that, this is an increasing problem that has resulted in the space available for public discussion and public participation in those issues shrinking steadily. and this is something we need to be worried about. it's something quite fundamental. and, in fact, we've had a few historical sites here,
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khrushchev and, i don't know, a couple of others. well, you know, i think we need to go back to other models much further back. in fact, i think we need to go back to the fourth and fifth centuries b.c. to greece and look at how they viewed democracy. what was the essence of democracy? and there's a fascinating fragment, a speech given by a philosopher named protagaris in which he gives a sort of creation myth. this man now is being cited by philosophers of greek history in the classical age as the prime expositive to have of athenian democracy in the period, and he gives a creation myth for democracy. he says that humanity originally was scattered all over the place, victimized by forces of nature and by wild beasts and by other human beings and that humans had to assemble together in commitments for their own security. -- communities for their own security. so he says collective security
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is the essential reason for the state. then he gives a myth involving -- which is sort of a retelling of the prometheus legend, i don't mean the one in the current motion picture, by the way, although it may not be a far off semblance of it n which he says zeus, the god, decided to give gifts to humanity, and he arranged for these gifts to be distributed broadly amongst the entire population because cities cannot be formed if only a few have these arts, he says. and he refers to this as the political technique or skill. and that is democratic dialogue, what we today know as democratic dialogue. the idea that you have skills, knowledge spread diffusely amongst the population. the population coming together, engaging in discussion can come to the best solution and the best answers principally for their own defense. and finally he says if the city's going the prosper, if the
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state's going to prosper and if it's going to survive, it has to effectively form ways of pooling these resources and channeling them into correct decisions. and it is very, very clear throughout he's thinking about national security as the principal thing that people are discussing. and, in fact, we know through quite recent historical research that in prominent greek democracies of this age, especially in athens, when assemblies of the people came together and they were discussing issues, very frequently they were discussing issues of war and peace, whether to go to war, whether to make peace and what terms to make peace. and they were discussing deeply and profoundly questions of accountability of their own leaders who were engaged in national security decision making, that they exercise fair judgment, did they do the right thing. and the public, as we know in that era, was a very, very harsh judge of these things. so i think this gives us a marker against which we can measure our own democracy,
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that's really quite radically different. and i think our day today these accountability processes have really fallen apart. they've become extremely weak. that's approaching a crisis. now, in fact, we have sort of a triangle -- and the greeks talked about this, too, secrecy, privacy and publicity, and every state has got these three different characteristics in different measures. and the way it, the way these three qualities are doled out and measured defines the nature of the state. so, for instance, we're told that in a state where the leaders are allowed to make public, allowed to make decisions about the affairs of the state in secret but the citizens, the ordinary citizens have no privacy, they're always
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subject to intrusion by the leaders, that system is called a tyranny. and a democracy is defined as a state in which the affairs of the state are public, to be known by all and for all the people to participate in important decisions and resolutions whereas the affairs of individual citizens are private and are shielded. um, i think these are, you know, very, very powerful models. and i think we should look at how we have dealt and how we have reallocated the situation. we have a situation in the united states today where increasingly national security affairs are being privatized, the number of individuals who are allowed to participate in making those decisions is fewer and fewer. whereas the space for private individuals is no longer nearly so screened from intrusion by
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the state as was the case historically. and i think if we look at major questions that we have faced recently, we see the reflection of this process. so, for instance, i mean, things we've been discussing this morning; drones, drone warfare is a process that's being dominated now by jso o c and by the cia, it's covert warfare. therefore, it seems to have been withdrawn from the table of matters that can be discussed even at a policy level and a meaningful way as a part of our political process and our democratic process. secrecy is playing a very important role in that process. we also have matters like the war that was waged in libya which i think marks some very, very disturbing precedents because we had no value
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office -- no oval office speech given by president obama, we had no meaningful consultation by congress, no public debate about it. a terrible precedent for us. and we're looking at possible conflicts in the future involving iran and syria, for instance. again in which intelligence and the manipulation of intelligence by political figures plays a huge role. so we're talking about leaks. um, but i'm focused on having an informed public that can participate in a democratic discussion. and i don't think leaks is really the correct frame for it. but i think wikileaks, if we look back on it, it's, i think, proving to be a very, very useful example of the government's tendency to hype the dangers that result from disclosure of this information and to overstate the risks that
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result. because i think we go back, we heard secretary gates' statement read in one of the earlier panels which i think was an important statement. actually, he also said that charges that those who have leaked the information have blood on their hands were hyperbole, he said. not true. and i think gates has this just right. but, unfortunately, the government as a whole was obsessed with this drum beat of gloom and doom. and when we go back and look at what happened with wikileaks, it's obviously a mixed bag. there were obviously cases where individuals were embarrassed by things that were disclosed. there may be some people who legitimately perceive a bit of a threat, but by and large that's not the case. by and large, i think, the public benefited from having this information put on the table. and by and large, i think, the disclosure reaped more benefits than harms for the united states.
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and i say this based on discussions with a number of political figures abroad who tell me as one head of state in africa recently told me, he was shocked to see that, my god, this government really does care about corruption and really does care about transparency. and it was in all these cables. and they were actually acting up on the things that they were reflecting. so i think it did wonders for the u.s. reputation at the end of the day. >> scott, i, obviously, agree with much of what you said. but i wonder if you could come back to a question i have when -- that troubles me, and that is as much as i like scott shane and as much as i trust my own judgment, nobody elected us to decide whether national security was going to be jeopardized. isn't there something fundamentally wrong under rule of law scenario where you're now taking those decisions out of government and putting them in private hands to decide who -- scott shane and the likes of
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scott whether this is going to harm national security to reveal this secret or not? >> no, i think it's problematic. i think we have to start by acknowledging that every government does have legitimate secrecy claims and that government should try to maintain certain secrets, diplomatic secrets, military secrets of the obvious sorts discussed even in the first congress, and the idea that individual citizens will make up their own mind to the claim of secrecy is bogus is problematic. however, we have thousands and thousands of cases historically now where we can show that, in fact, the claim of secrecy was bogus. and disclosures served legitimate democratic ends. so i think there's no easy solution to this. i think what we really have to -- the fundamental problem we have right now is that we've constructed a system where there's no downside for claiming security classifications. and if we're ever going to get a handle on the problem of gross
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overclassification, it's got to be creating a new system in which there are risks to a civil servant making a decision to classify something that shouldn't be classified. >> um, scott shane, the challenge has been thrown down. we started quoting alexander hague. we went to the athenian philosophers. [laughter] i don't know how you're going to raise the bars here. but i'm supposed to ask you how you feel. [laughter] you can go from there -- >> i feel intimidated. i'm going to have to bring us balk from the fifth century -- back from the fifth century b.c. to 2012. i guess the question i'd like to briefly raise is, you know, i sort of agree with david pozen, and i disagree with a -- in a couple ways that i'll mention. we have worked out over the decades a sort of jerry rigged system where the government rerelates to the press, the press relates to the people, and
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we sort of chug along. and i'm wondering whether in two different ways we're undermining a system. one is with this proliferation of leak prosecutions, the other is with the rise of what i would call public but classified information. so, first, let me go back and read something that a washington bureau colleague wrote. some of you may recognize this. about how journalism works in washington. without the use of, quote, secrets, unquote -- putting it in quotes because that's what the government calls these things, classified information, in other words -- without the use of secrets, there could be no adequate diplomatic, military and political reporting of the kind our people take for granted, either abroad or in washington. and there could be no mature system of communication between the government and the people. that was written, um, in a brilliant affidavit, 1971, by max frankel, then the washington
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bureau chief, later the editor of "the new york times." just, i quote it only to say that that is absolutely true to this day. um, and this sort of weird system that we have where certain things are designated as secret, but we continue to write about them, um, i think has actually proven quite functional over the decades. and that's what i'm a little worried about, that this sort of strange consensus that operated for many years may be breaking could be a little -- breaking down a little bit. i would not, i would not and none of my colleagues would deny that there are legitimate secrets that need to be protected, and we sometimes take a lot of flak at "the new york times" from bloggers and others who think that we are too kowtowed by the government. but it is generally our practice if we have, you know, any kind of story that we call if it's about a government agency, call the agency, say what about this, we're going to write this. and they have an opportunity to say, oh, my god, you know, the
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world will end if you print that. and then we kind of, you know, listen to them and make a decision. and i found myself in the very peculiar situation when we were publishing the wikileaks diplomatic cables, these 250,000 diplomatic cables that we had gotten through wikileaks, of being the person who was assigned to actually redact the cables in most cases to protect people who i actually consulted with the state department, and they would make the case that, you know, this chinese professor, this russian diss dent would be in grave danger if we named them. we could eventually put out all the cables unexplicated. and i would agree that the government's warnings about the dangers of that were, you know, have by and large proven overblown. but let's look at barack obama and what i would consider his, you know, he hasn't said much
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about this, but in a way the administration's inconsistency on this subject. everybody knows about enhanced interrogation techniques as used by the cia under the bush administration at the so-called black sites. everybody knows about the so-called warrantless wiretapping under the bush administration. both those were only brought to light by, quote, leaks, unquote. if somebody hadn't stuck his or her neck out, risked, you know, in principle prison to talk about those things, we might not know about them today. barack obama, of course, ran against certainly the enhanced interrogation techniques. he based, you know, a considerable portion of the national security component of his campaign on running against these programs that he knew about, we knew about or he could
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talk about only by virtue of leaks. so that makes it particularly ironic that there have been six cases, you know, by most counts double the number under all previous presidents, and that's what i think is beginning to potentially chill reporting, chill, you know, sources from talking to reporters and sort of, you know, break down this system. that we've been talking about. the, you know, long ago i was in moscow during the last years of soviet power and the collapse of the soviet system, and i later wrote a book, the premise of which was partly that excess i have secrecy -- excessive secrecy, dysfunctional secrecy was one of the reasons that the soviet union was undermined. and we're not quite at that level, but it is amazing how often i have seen in the recent
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years absolutely ridiculous examples of classification. just to give you a couple of examples, there's a guy named ali sufan, one of the early fbi agents focused on al-qaeda, and he wrote a memoir last year called "the black flag," and the cia and the fbi, as you know, have a kind of decades-long feud about just about everything. finish and the cia got ahold of his book and decided that it needed to clear the manuscript and took a lot of things out of the manuscript. the kind of things it took out, he is well known and had written publicly about being involved early on in questioning one of the first of the so-called high-value terrorists caught in 2002. and, but that was considered to be secret even though everybody knew about it. he had written op-eds about it. by the cib.
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so the cia took out the personal pronouns from the chapter about him. so it says, instead of i packed my suitcase when i got this phone call and, you know, headed out, it says blank packed blank suitcase. [laughter] so that's, we actually paid you, the taxpayer, paid someone to go through that book and take that stuff out. [laughter] one other example that seems to me equally absurd although it's less easy to understand is that the cia has triumphed over a guy named jefferson morally who has been fighting in court for years to declassify records related to the assassination of john f. kennedy. you would think that by now stuff that happened in 1963, the cold war's over, most of the people involved back then are dead, that it might be safe to let out some of these secrets. but they have fought successfully in court to keep hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of things secret that
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seem to bear at least an indirect relationship to the kennedy assassination. it's kind of fascinating. i wonder what's in there myself. finally, there is this category called, that i call publicly-classified information. the drone strikes being a prime example. cyber offense, cyber attacks are another one now that's sort of emerging as drone strikes did, as targeted killing did. and it's following a similar pattern. i think what you have is events that occur on the ground such as stuff blowing up, people being killed, that you can't deny. so some information comes out about it. but there are still these formal restrictions on who can say what. the very strange result of that is i can talk about drones, in fact, we can all talk about
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drones except for possibly david because -- [laughter] he was a government employee and may be restricted in what he says. most significantly, congress cannot talk publicly about drones. so you have this very strange situation where the u.s. has embarked on a perhaps good, perhaps bad but certainly very important, using this new kind of technology in an ethically and legally very dicey, disputed area, and no -- there has never been a public debate in congress on this. ditto for offensive cyber attacks. we see stuxnet, you know, stuxnet got reported. my colleague, david sanger, wrote about that it was part of a big, a wider range of, range of programs called olympic games. but we have embarked again on a new technology in a very, you know, hazardous in the view of many experts area. we're setting a precedent for many other countries both with
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drones and with cyber attacks. congress has not been able to talk about any of that because it's classified. we can talk about it, they can't. so you have this strange breakdown of what would normally be the sort of functioning government in a democracy. the final thing i'll say is that we talk about leaks as endangering, you know, people, programs, government operations. it's very interesting to talk to tom cain, former governor of new jersey, who was the chairman of the national 9/11 commission, investigated the 9/11 attacks. if you ask him what, you know, what made us vulnerable to 9/11 eleven years ago, was it leaks or was it secrecy, he'll tell you it was secrecy. it was excessive secrecy that
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made us vulnerable to the worst terrorist attack in american history. it was not leaks. if there had been more leaks, you know, he would argue we would have been, we would have had a far better chance of stopping this attack. so i think that's where, you know, the danger -- david is absolutely right that six cases, as someone said earlier, six cases out of 300,000 criminal cases is not a lot, but they do have a very serious chilling effect which i experience in my work every day. sometimes when you call someone and you get a black humor response like, oh, yeah, i'm going the tell you about that, i'm going to end up like tom drake who did not go to jail, ended up with community service, but meanwhile, basically lost his house, went into bankruptcy, and had his life turned upside down and his career completely derailed. he was a high-level official,
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he's now working at the apple store in bethesda. thanks. >> scott, you managed to meet the challenge. scott quoted the greek philosophers, you quoted your own book. that was masterful. [laughter] but let me press back on this. you know, every time i raise idea whether leakers need more protection, whether the prosecutions are bad, the response i got from one washington reporter was leakers don't look up pentagon papers and decide what the law says, they don't look up morrison, they don't look up the aipac decision by judge ellis. they don't do that. they're motivated by other things. and you look at "the new york times" over the last few days, leaks about libya and so forth, isn't david right that leaking continues on a pace? >> yes, absolutely. i mean, you know, and i wouldn't
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even call it leaking. i would just say that it's the normal business of government, you know, explaining things to the press or through the press to the people. you know, leak always makes it sound like there's something illicit about it, whereas i think it's sort of the foundation of the way our country operates. but i have to say and i think most of my colleagues would support this, there have been several instances where we and others, other reporters have made a determined effort to find out certain things, and five years ago we think we might have been able to find it out, and now we've had real trouble. and i'll just give you one example. there's something called section 215 of the patriot act which probably everybody here knows since we're at a law school, it's the business records section of the patriot act. five senators, i believe -- if i'm not miscounting -- have made cryptic statements saying that this provision is beingis